Return after 4 Decades, Namibia

Sunset over the Zambezi River, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Sunset over the Zambezi River, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Returning to my country of birth after 41 Years of absence was a major factor on my decision to adventure Southern Africa. Having an indescribable exciting and mind-blowing journey in previously visited countries so far, how could Namibia top all this? Talking to fellow travelers I met on my journey, everyone was simply amazed by Namibia’s own desert beauty. 

Anxiously, I crossed into Namibia from ‘Ngomo bridge’ border post. This was the least busy and my last border crossing on this adventure. A young man waved me over outside the immigration building, holding a handheld, laser operated thermometer in his hand, pointing at my head. ‘I come in peace ’, I joked, holding my hands up. ‘Temperature is good, you can fill in this form and go inside’ he replied without smiling. Ok! Maybe he heard that before? A carton box had small boxes of condoms for him and her, as well as educational booklets about H.I.V.  A welcoming gift to Namibia? Without a doubt the most peculiar.

The immigration officer wasn’t in a happy mood either. I picked up lots of negative vibes all around. Not exactly the happy ‘welcome back’ greeting I would have liked. ‘5 weeks in Namibia? Are you going to be working here?’ He forcefully asked. No, just traveling I replied. ‘You were born in Windhoek and hold a German passport! Are you sure you are not working here?’ His voice was even more abrupt. ‘Yes, I am sure I won’t be working here’.

He mumbled on behind his bulletproof glass, which I couldn’t understand much of. ‘If you want to communicate and me to understand what you are saying, you need to speak up officer!’ I said a little annoyed. ‘I remember faces well and if I catch you working in Namibia, you will go to jail’ he eventually came out with. What a charming welcome this is I thought. ‘Good luck with that’, I replied. I earn 4 times as much at home then I would here. Namibia can’t afford to pay my services. So please explain why I would want to work here?!’ I arrogantly replied. He eventually stamped my passport and after paying my road tax at a different, just as friendly counter, I was on my way on Namibian desert soil. It was a strange feeling.

After a more or less quick stopover at Katima police station to report Zimba’s lost license plate, I drove on to ’Caprivi Boathouse and Camp’. I needed to get my bearings about Namibia before moving on any further.

Great Dane Cesar, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Great Dane Cesar, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Situated on the Zambezi River with lovely plantation and 5 dogs,  I was guided to my campground. The young Scotsman assistant must have been busy as he quickly pointed out ablutions. ‘We don’t care much about campers’ he said as he walked off. ‘Ok then’ I thought, this really isn’t my day today. Or is this a normal day in Namibia? I really hope not. Sitting on the bar porch overlooking the Zambezi, I spent my evening on the Internet. It really is peaceful here.

Pidgeon off Peace?, Katima Mulilo

Pidgeon of Peace?, Katima Mulilo

A pigeon was busy building a nest. Its spring time and everything springs into life.

Just a twitch, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Just a twitch, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

It was actually really cute to watch how it returned with a single tiny twig in its beak.

Need more twitches, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Need more twitches, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

After a quick patch up, it flew out again to return with another twig. I could just imagine the partner throwing them out again. Too big. Too small.

And another one, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

And another one, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

The mood improved immensely the next day. About a dozen adults, two kids, and 7 dogs boarded a vessel for a  relaxing afternoon on a sandbank in the Zambezi River.

Hurry up, skip!, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Hurry up, skip!, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Max the Terrier kept his cool, while the other dogs patiently waited to arrive.

Can’t wait to get of, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Can’t wait to get off, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

The two Italian brothers almost beat the dogs to it, if they had longer legs. Esky with refreshments and a football were carried on, but my guess was, who would spend more time in these shallow waters? Dogs or kids?

Shakaks whip, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Shakaks whip, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

It really was a tight match between them and I didn’t know what to focus on with my OM-D. The lower setting sun over a mirror-like Zambezi River gave me plenty of options.

Beer and sunset in the Zambezi, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Beer and sunset in the Zambezi, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

The 4 Germans just chilled in the shallow waters. Good on them. That would have been my preferred option if I didn’t have my camera in my hand. Max the terrier ran off straight away to chase the wading birds.

Dogs life, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Dog’s life, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Most of the dogs followed him. Great Dane Cesar didn’t care much about the water and stayed with the ball kicking crowd. Mistreated rescue dog Shaka handed me a stick to throw.

Shaka sunset epics, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Shaka sunset epics, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Against the mirror waters of the Zambezi, I was hoping for some splashing action. But that really didn’t happen much.

Watching the stick closely, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Watching the stick closely, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Sitting in knee-deep waters, staring at the stick, until I threw it again. How cute.

Sausage dog submarine, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Sausage dog submarine, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

The two sausage dogs belonging to Laura and Simonie came to help. Like a two-tailed submarine, they tackled the shallows.

Sausage dog retreat, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Sausage dog retreat, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

With legs that close to the ground, the mission was aborted. 

Boys will be boys, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Boys will be boys, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Meanwhile, not far off, brothers Riccardo and Eduardo made the most off the splashing opportunity.

I get you sooner or later, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

I get you sooner or later, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Back and forth, forth and back.

Take this, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Take this, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Chasing each other, splashing each other, wrestling each other.

My turn, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

My turn, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

What a spectacle to watch. Boys are boys, nothing more, nothing less.

Ha ha, and back again, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Ha ha, and back again, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Like the ‘Duracell rabbit’, they just kept going and going. And going. 

Duracell bunny, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Duracell bunny, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

It really was hard to keep up with them in front of that sun setting beam. Knowing they be running back this way again at sooner or later, I just waited for that moment.

Not happy, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Not happy, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Against a setting sun on a clear break mirror reflection, the photo option was just too good to be missed.

Stunning sunset over the Zambezi River, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Stunning sunset over the Zambezi River, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Even without splashing kids or dogs, it was an orange ball spectacular. 

Max on the sunset, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Max on the sunset, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Max the Terrier had done this trip countless times. Sitting up front like a pro, no motions to be seen.

Just too cute, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

Just too cute, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

The others were just a bit more curious. Bless.

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